my kind of detox
This year, I have welcomed the New Year with a different kind of approach. Given the extreme hectic nature of our lives at the moment: three young children, a husband that travels extensively for work, my home up for sale – that was sold (then it wasn’t) then it was (and then it wasn’t again) - I decided to take a step back and ask myself : what am I truly capable of resolving for 2010?
Living in such a state of limbo makes it quite difficult to settle into any kind of rhythm. The ride we have been on has taught me a lot about myself. But, it’s also given me the opportunity to use this situation as a lesson: to not be so hard on myself. And to make my 2010 aspirations a day-by-day commitment as opposed to an insurmountable task or unrealistic goal that I will no doubt have a difficult time adhering to. In short, this year I am determined to be realistic in my expectations so that I remain focused and feel confident in my progress instead of disappointed.
I usually don’t initiate any kind of detox until the delicious greens of springtime arrive to the farmers market. This year I won’t be partaking in a ‘traditional’ detox due to the fact that I am still nursing my infant daughter. She, like her mother, is quite sensitive to a large array of foods. As such, my annual springtime detox will instead become a series of mini-detox-processes throughout the year. Here’s how I am going to do it:
Consistent yoga practice. I intend to practice at least every other day. Don’t get me wrong – there have been a few mornings since the first of the year where I lie in bed at 5am dreading the thought of dragging my tired body out from under the covers. But, then I can’t help but focus on the end result: the amazing energy I am rewarded after I’ve finished my practice, the lightness of my body and the clear head that allows me to take charge of my day. As I roll up my mat, I am grateful that I have made the effort to do something for myself – to treat my body AND mind. It’s like starting the day with a clean slate. I am more capable of receiving, managing, coping with and juggling things that come my way. Yoga makes me a better person, wife, mom and friend. It empowers me.
I am not saying that you must do yoga – perhaps there is another form of exercise that fulfills you: walking, biking, running, skiing, etc. The reason I choose yoga (among other forms of exercise) is because it affords us the opportunity to detox every time we practice by aiding in digestion, benefiting the kidneys as well as our lymphatic system. Calming (yogic) breathing facilitates the release of the daily stress we carry around. And I have plenty of that. Certain poses are more suited to detoxification. My friend Mary, a certified yoga instructor, recommends ‘any pose with a twist’. Suggestions include seated twist, triangle pose or even eagle pose. For more on yoga as detox, see this article.
Another way to aid detox daily ? Help the kidneys (in flushing out toxins) by drinking more water. Although I try, I sometimes find myself so busy that I neglect to drink as much water as my body needs. All of a sudden, it’s early afternoon and I’ve become sluggish. For me, it is the first sign of dehydration.
Another way I enable body detox is by eating seasonally. History bestows upon us a birds eye view into the nutritional ebb and flow that nature provides by eating seasonally: eating cleansing greens in spring, cooling foods in summer (berries, salads) and warming foods in late fall and winter (ginger, soups and stews). I find it truly remarkable that nature provides foods in autumn – that stored properly (i.e., root cellar) – will keep throughout the winter months. Squashes and root vegetables are a beautiful thing.
And while we are on the subject of eating seasonally….I happen to be a huge fan of the quarterly magazine called Edible (Front Range). They are published all over the United States and celebrate all things local. Each issue has seasonal recipes, lists of what is currently in season (depending on where you live) and interviews or articles of interest with respect to local food news. They also have a pretty cool feature on their website: you can see exactly what is in season in your area right now. Go here to check it out. I highly recommend a visit to Local Harvest - a wonderful resource for people interested in buying local. They offer detailed information (just input your zip code) and you will be provided with a lengthy list of nearby farms, dairies and farmers markets. There’s quite a bit of CSA information here as well.
Wishing you the best in your quest for making 2010 a great year !